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Aphids!

This is a discussion on Aphids! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Alternatively, you could buy some ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens). They looove aphids. I would just suggest ...

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  1. #11
    jfrizz743 is offline Senior Member
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    Alternatively, you could buy some ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens). They looove aphids. I would just suggest releasing them after the sun goes down, because they navigate by the sun. That's one way to help make sure they stay in your yard and don't go to your neighbors.

  2. #12
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    bc_bareroots is offline Deadhead
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    I've always been under the impression that the dish washing soap was added to poisons and fertilizers to help the chemistry hold to the plant. That without the soap the majority of the chemicals would run off the leafs with the water.

    Does the dish soap actually have the ability to kill insects?
    I doesn't seem like it would. What aspect of the soap kills? I've read and experimented with several home remedies for pest, all of which contained dish soap, but they always also contained some sort of agent that had a "killing" aspect to it.. such as tobacco or something. Caution with tobacco: there is a caterpillars that thrives on tobacco and home pesticide remedies often attract them.

    ~

    On the lady bugs... If you live in Florida, scare all the lizards away before you release the little ladies!! I bought a bag of them once and created a lizard feast. I felt bad for the poor lady bugs <grin>.

  3. #13
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    I have heard that the soap helps to smother the pest by coating them. It also helps insecticide oil to mix with water easier.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #14
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    Soap is also a surfactant that can weaken the chitinous insect "shell"..kind of like slightly dissolving their skeleton..

  5. #15
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    Most soaps have a property that allows it to break down the surface tension between two different compounds.
    When added to pesticides and fertilizers it helps break down the surface repulsion between the leaves and the soapy solution, allowing better coverage and adhesion of the chemicals to the plant's surface.

    This same property also has a similar effect on insects. Insects have a water-repellent exoskeleton. Soap breaks down this water repulsion and allows water to smother the insect.
    If you try to drown ants and aphids in freshwater, it will be very difficult. Their water-repellent bodies will just form small bubbles around them and give them mini-SCUBA gear.
    But try to drown them in a soapy solution and the air bubbles cannot form around their bodies fast enough and they get completely wet and drown.

    Some people say oil and water never mix. They obviously have never seen soap.

  6. #16
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    This is a great post, and really informative!! I used to use both neem oil and soap on my roses, and both worked relatively well...but soap is cheaper :-)

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wetfeet101b View Post
    Most soaps have a property that allows it to break down the surface tension between two different compounds.
    When added to pesticides and fertilizers it helps break down the surface repulsion between the leaves and the soapy solution, allowing better coverage and adhesion of the chemicals to the plant's surface.

    This same property also has a similar effect on insects. Insects have a water-repellent exoskeleton. Soap breaks down this water repulsion and allows water to smother the insect.
    Ahh.. some light.
    Thanks!

  8. #18
    likespaphs is offline Junior Member
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    sorry, folks, but there seems to be lots of misinformation in here.
    not any insecticide will do the trick for aphids. the pesticide needs to be labeled for aphids otherwise it may have no effect on them. the pesticide should also have listed on the label how long until it can be reapplied. labels on pesticides are considered law in the u.s. so they must be followed.
    neem is not a brand but is from the neem tree. there are other oils out there that are used as a sufficant but neem has other properties as well, including anti-fungal (i think), anti-feeding (for some insects) and others.. i often use ultra-fine oil. oils, soaps, pesticides in general should be sprayed when the plant is not in direct sun as phytotoxicity (damage to the foliage or flowers) can occur.
    a so called strong water spray will dislodge the bugs from the plants and kill many of the insects.

  9. #19
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    Would Ivory be a good detergent for that? That sounds like a recipe I'd like to try!

    I recently had aphids on a small palm that was on my porch.....right next to the orchids. As soon as I realized what was going on I moved it outside. I sprayed it every day for about a week with Safer. It's an insecticide & fungicide and seems to work well. You can get it at any of the larger home improvement stores. I took a look at it this afternoon and it looked pretty good, except for the bird poop that landed on it! I've brought it back in & will keep an eye on it for a few days.

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